For the fourth year in a row, sales of existing homes in North Carolina broke records in 2004, posting a 21 percent increase from sales recorded in 2003, according to statistics compiled by the North Carolina Association of Realtors.

Realtors reported that 112,188 residential units were sold in 2004 on an adjusted basis, up from 92,523 sales in 2003.

The average cost of a home was $193,817 in 2004, up 5 percent from $184,606 for 2003. When combined with this increase in the average sales price, total sales dollars for 2004 were up 27 percent to nearly $22 billion.

Resort communities led the strong sales growth, with Brunswick County posting the largest percentage increase in total sales dollars (47 percent), which can largely be attributed to the 21 percent increase in average sales price they’ve experienced over the last year. Other communities with strong growth include the Outer Banks, Wilmington and Jacksonville.

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